Chairman, North America
Johnny Barbis began his career in the music business in 1972, in radio promotion at Shelter Records, where he was responsible for launching the careers of artists including Leon Russell. Johnny served in similar capacities at London, Chrysalis, ABC, and Geffen. During his years in promotion, he helped break records by ZZ Top, Blondie, Tom Petty, John Lennon, Peter Gabriel, and Elton John -- among hundreds of others. In 1985, Johnny formed his own film and music marketing company, where his projects included the multi-platinum Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Johnny joined PolyGram in 1990, and went on to serve as President & CEO of Island Records and President of A&M Associated Labels. During his tenure there he oversaw the careers of U2, Melissa Etheridge, and Elton John. In 2000, Johnny became a partner at DreamWorks Records. He later served as a senior advisor to the EMI Music Group Worldwide.
Most recently, Johnny has embarked on a new role as manager to his old friend, Elton John, thirty years following their first days together at Geffen. He has also been reunited with Leon Russell, as manager of the 2011 Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame inductee. He is the Executive Producer of the two artists' worldwide smash collaboration, The Union.
Rocket Music Management
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